The road to the fight between the legendary ‘money maker’ Mayweather and McGregor has been laden with feuds, trash talking, and offensive clothing, in short, it has been a spectacle.
Now, just weeks before the two box it out in Las Vegas, a new feud has emerged. Former world champion Paulie Malignaggi has left his role as Conor McGregor’s sparring partner, accusing the infamous fighter of setting him up.
After the press conferences, which saw the two boxers insulting each other in four different cities, the drama around the Irishman's bout with Floyd Mayweather died down.
McGregor Vs Malignaggi: What's The Story?
The retired fighter was brought in to help sharpen McGregor’s skills ahead of his bout with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas later this month. This arrangement didn’t last long.
In a post on Instagram, Malignaggi asserted that he wouldn’t give away any of McGregor’s tactics, but said that he will be divulging the truth about what happened. Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi left the UFC training facility and is now refusing to work with the Irish underdog any further.
He cited lack of professionalism and an “exploitative” agenda from the McGregor camp. This happened after Gerard Byrne, an insider in the McGregor team, posted photos insinuating that McGregor knocked down Paulie Malignaggi.
“I came with the best intentions and intended to help out,” wrote Malignaggi.
“It's some of the stuff outside the ring and some ways things were handled in training camp that I didn't agree with and made me come to this decision.”
Malignaggi added, “I came to help this campout, not to be exploited, now you're going to get the truth.”
Paulie Malignaggi took to social media to discredit an image that showed him down on the canvas, with McGregor looming over him. In his tweet, Malignaggi claims that the photo was taken after a push-down. He explains that, after overwhelming McGregor, the MMA fighter pushed him down in frustration.
Malignaggi then demanded McGregor to post the whole video of their 12 rounds. Not long after, the retired Brooklyn boxer came back swinging again, criticise the Irishman’s boxing durability.
He wrote on Twitter: “He whimpers like a girl when he gets ripped to body lol”.
He added: “When I look back at the experience as a whole, not just sparring but as a whole, yes there was definitely an agenda beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
You may be asking…
How Did McGregor Respond?
In typical McGregor style:
The ‘Notorious’ said: “He stayed in there — you’ve got to give him respect for that.
“But that was it — he came, he got his a** whooped and that was it.”
McGregor didn’t stop there. He then explained the reason why he decided to bring in welterweight world champ Malignaggi for the sparring sessions.
He added: “I was just watching this guy speak, like ‘who the f*** is he?’.
“I looked at his stance, looked at his approach. There are some similarities to Floyd.
“I don’t really give a f*ck if there were similarities or not.
“He was speaking a hell of a game. I said, ‘bring this boy in here and let’s fight!’”
Whose Version Is The Truth?
Prior to the training sessions, Malignaggi praised the Irish MMA star turned boxer for his power and southpaw stance, so it doesn’t seem like Malignaggi had any ill intentions right up until the photos were released.
However, Veteran boxing referee Joe Cortez hinted that Malignaggi may not have been as impartial as he acted. Cortez, who has been overseeing McGregor’s training in boxing, had to stop the two during a sparring session that got out of hand.
“It was the real thing, I had to stop the action,” Cortez told RUSH 93. “I had to say ‘you guys are a little out of control here, you’ve got to stop this.’ They were both roughing each other up and I had to stop the action like it was a regular fight.”
Malignaggi later admitted that he had a chip on his shoulder when he got involved in the debacle.
Veteran boxing coach Virgil Hunter’s insight into McGregor’s situation provides food for thought.
The admired and prolific boxing mentor hinted to the idea that team McGregor's claims are just an act to make a virtual one-sided mismatch seem competitive to the casual and mainstream sports fan who wouldn’t see through the drama.
At the end of the day, he believes it is just a money grab.
“They're putting a beginner in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.”
He concluded that “Somebody has to be prepared to be humane on August 26.” Alluding that Mayweather can choose to either make McGregor quit, or knock him out.
McGregor is good, but Mayweather is a champion.
Who is lying? Does McGregor truly stand a chance, or is this just propaganda?
We will only know on the 26th.
More importantly, do you believe that McGregor can win? Our article analysing McGregor’s chances had many think twice about betting on Mayweather.
Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. But with the way things are looking, the only thing we may be getting from McGregor and Mayweather is a soap opera.
Conor McGregor Vs Paulie Malignaggi was another episode in the McGregor saga of social media bouts.
The fight may not be competitive, but it sure as hell will be entertaining.